January 1st marked 5 years together for Rich and I. 5 years which have genuinely flown by but haven’t come without their ups and downs (more ups than downs though). I’ve grown so much from the naive 19 year old who wasn’t quite ready for a relationship. We’ve been through so much together and grown as people. I look back at old photos and blog posts and smile at how much has changed but also at how much we’ve stayed the same. Same banter, same tagging each other in silly memes, same stubbornness, same habits, same insecurities and same hopes and dreams for the future.
I cringe at the petty insecurities I used to have, hang ups from past relationships where I wasn’t treated right and wondering if a delay in replying to my text meant he wasn’t that into me anymore. Now, I’ve learnt to relax a bit more and am comfortable in knowing our relationship is for the long run.
Relationships teach you what you will and won’t tolerate, selflessness and patience ( I still don’t have much but I’m learning!) They teach you respect, love and companionship. They’re pretty wonderful but don’t come without their challenges either. So that’s why I’ve compiled a list of 5 things being in a 5 year relationship has taught me.
1. If you want honest advice, your partner is the best one to ask
No one knows you as well as your boyfriend/girlfriend. They’ll be able to give you the honest truth and the best advice to help you in any situation, even if it’s not the advice you want to hear. I ask Rich’s advice on everything from work to friends and I really value the answers. He’s the first person I want to talk to if I have a question or problem. Nothing is too silly or off limits. I feel like asking each other for advice has really strengthened our relationship. It’s nice to be of use and to be involved in each other’s important life decisions.
2. Be each other’s cheerleaders
It goes without saying that you should be supportive of each other but I’ll always fight Rich’s corner and tell him he’s got this. We all have moments of self doubt but if you’ve got someone who’s constantly cheering you on and telling you how great you are, it gives you that extra little push to work harder.
3. Push yourselves out your comfort zones
Here’s one that I think I do more than Rich but I feel like it keeps life exciting to experience new things. Push yourself to do things that scare the both of you. I’m terrified of heights but I went up the Top of the Rock with Rich which is a massive 70 floors tall. Although I was nervous about going up, I’m glad I did it and stepped out on the observation deck, if only for a few minutes. Other smaller ways I push myself out of my comfort zone are saying yes to presentations and opportunities to get involved with projects at work, I started volunteering putting my social media skills to use and made more of an effort at Rich’s big family meet ups.
4. It’s okay to question your relationship
It took me a long time to realise this was okay and actually a healthy thing to do. Questioning whether your relationship is right for you can be a massively scary thing to do and in the moments where I over think, I often thought maybe I’d be better off without my relationship. That definitely isn’t the case though.
Although relationships are testing and you might question certain aspects, this is normal and it usually helps me to put things into perspective. I can’t imagine life without Rich and even when we bicker, it’s always about silly insignificant things. The good times far outweigh the bad.
5. Learn to love and be comfortable with yourself
Another one that I’m still learning. Learning to love yourself is difficult but by feeling more confident in your own skin, you will probably end up feeling closer to each other. I’ve never been too insecure about the way I looked but as I’m getting older, my body has changed from the fit 18 year old it once was. Instead of mourning that, I should be celebrating the fact that I’ve now got curvier hips and not such a flat stomach. Yes, I’m still thin and for that I’m very grateful. My metabolism has been kind to me so far.
We’ve both changed body shapes but it’s not just about loving your body and the way you look, it’s having confidence in your own abilities. Being in a relationship and being loved by someone else definitely helps but remember your self worth. You’re amazing 🙂
Here’s to the next 5 years!